Umotong explains Brighton’s role in Nigeria’s Women’s World Cup miss

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The 26-year-old missed competing on the global stage with the Super Falcons in 2019 during her time with the Seagulls

Ini Umotong has admitted that her poor run of goalscoring at Brighton cost her a place in Nigeria’s 2019 Women’s World Cup squad. 

Umotong had excelled on her international debut for Nigeria against Mali in an All African Games qualifier on March 22, 2015, and also made the squad to the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.

However, she was left out of the France-bound squad by Thomas Dennerby in 2019 despite being part of the set-up since January, breaking her international duck in a 3-0 win over Romania in China.

Having scored only once in 14 appearances, she only lasted the duration three times in the entire 2019 Women’s Super League term.

The 26-year-old, who was faced with a lack of regular playing time and disappointing moments in front of goal, opened up on her struggles with the Seagulls.

“Maybe [rough times], but it’s a completely different level,” Umotong told Goal.

“I’d say it is a lot more mentally challenging than it is physically challenging. Form, especially as a striker, comes and goes.

“When you’re on form, it’s great, when you’re off form, it’s mentally trying to get back to the form you’re used to. 

“That level as well as so much more rotation for the teams makes form even more mentally challenging for the striker. 

“There were highs and lows in my performance and form, at that level, but all of those experiences I’ve learned [from]. They’re all learning experiences and made me a better player.”

After missing out on her dream of playing in back-to-back Women’s World Cup finals, she will be hoping her form will earn her a future Nigeria recall.

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